The drought has been inspiring some very good writing.

For the first time in ages, I am seeing new kinds of writing about water.

Here are a couple lovely and relatable essays on residential water conservation:

First person stories like this are tremendously influential.

I find the reaction described here extreme, but it is certainly among the experiences people are having now. One of my reactions is that it is the job of local water managers to prevent this just surely as the manager should be targeting the top 15% of users in the district.

New ways of thinking through water use:

I thought this insight was brilliant (using convenient numbers to compare annual precip (80MAF) to a household budget ($80K)).

A detailed explanation of supply chain water use for bagged lettuce. Very clear about why it is hard to make comparisons.

More on East Porterville:

This is completely gorgeous storytelling. I do have one quibble. This anecdote sounds like a translation problem to me.

But for every Bill Wiggins, there is a horror story about another house just a block over there, where the landlord threatened to evict the family if they asked for county assistance.

If a house does not have potable water, the county is required to red-tape it. Just like people aren’t allowed to drink water out of a personal well if the arsenic concentration is too high, the state doesn’t allow people to live in houses with no water. I have no knowledge of this landlord, but it is possible that he was trying to tell his tenants that if they tell the county they don’t have drinking water, the house will get red-taped, not that he personally would evict them. The law has created a real problems, but the arguments on both sides are sound. Perhaps the solution is that if people live within half an hour of a water drop-off point, during droughts the red-taping policy doesn’t hold.

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